Having recently exited Hell, Strand is rather peeved at those who had sent him there for eleven years, and is eager for revenge. He has a fondness for stealing cars and making mayhem. Los Angeles comes in for some laugh-out-loud funny noir treatment. Kadrey has created a world not unlike Kim Harrison’s Inderland, a blended world in which the magical and non-magical co-exist. I love Kadrey’s dark sense of humor, which reminds me very much of the Hell Boy series and Christopher Moore’s vampire books. I suppose it might be argued that Sandman Slim is derivative, but the weaving of magical and the real has become a staple and what counts more is how the tale is told. In Sandman Slim it is told very well. Kadrey maintains our interest by adding bigger-picture detail to Stark’s personal mission. There is a nice cast of supporting characters here, including a centuries old French alchemist, a spider-like person who survives by liquefying humans and drinking them, angels, anti-angels, magicians and at least one video store clerk who aspires to a bit more from life. If you thought that having one’s head cut off would be a conversation killer, think again. Kadrey has filled his stage with impressive props, magical weapons, potions, tools and pathways. This is a fast-paced fun read from start to finish. I really, really hope there is a sequel, and many more beyond.